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What is the Best Looking Midsize Sedan?

January 28th, 2013

2013 Honda Accord Consumer ReviewsWe all know style isn’t everything, especially when you are shopping for an expensive, functional product like a midsize sedan that you look to for years of trouble free service.  At the same time, it is nice to have a car that is attractive and a bit distinctive, one that is neither too generic, nor too ostentatious.  There has been a lot of activity in midsize sedans of late, with a redesigned Passat, Camry, and Malibu coming out around a year ago, and a new Altima, Accord, and Fusion in the second half of 2012.  So, which cars are the most attractive?

We invited over 100 midsize sedan owners to a secret location to conduct a detailed, hands-on comparison of the top 13 selling midsize sedans, including the recently launched 2013 Ford Fusion and 2013 Honda Accord.  The midsize sedan owners rated 100 attributes for each vehicle.  Then, we statistically summarized their ratings into a handy summary that gives you a quick, clear look at how each model measures up in all the major categories – including exterior appearance.  So, what did over 100 real owners find to be the best looking midsize sedan when they compared them all in a back-to-back, hands-on comparison?

2nd runner up:

2013 Hyundai Sonata:  Redesigned for the 2011 model year, the Sonata had the highest appeal in our previous midsize sedan competition, conducted in 2011.  Still fresh looking, Sonata is seen by midsize owners as sleek, stylish and sporty.  It ties the new Fusion, Accord, Altima and Optima for the top rated side view, with above average front and rear views.

First runner up:  The following two sedans tied for second place for overall exterior appeal with midsize owners:

2013 Nissan Altima:  Redesigned for 2013, the Altima scored just below the top rated vehicles for exterior appeal.  The new Altima is seen as sleek, sporty and substantial looking, rating at the top of the class for its side view, and above average from the front.

2013 Kia Optima:  Last redesigned for the 2011 model year, the Optima tied with the all new Altima for the second highest exterior appearance.  It is seen as sporty and muscular, yet also elegant and classy.  Optima’s side view ties for the highest score and its rear view rates above average.

2013 Ford Fusion Consumer ReviewsAnd, the winner is…

Actually, first place is a bit of a tie between the new 2013 Ford Fusion and the more conservative, but still very attractive, new 2013 Honda Accord.

2013 Ford Fusion:  Unlike its rather generic looking predecessor, the new Fusion scored extremely well for exterior appearance.  Thirty percent of midsize owners rate Fusion a 5 on a 5-point scale for exterior appeal, the highest of 13 midsize sedans tested.  In particular, Fusion’s front and side views are strongly liked and seen as sporty, fresh, muscular and solid looking.

2013 Honda Accord:  While more understated and less polarizing than the new Fusion, the redesigned 2013 Accord scores very well for exterior appearance, with the highest average score overall.  It is seen as classy and well integrated with a sporty flair.  Accord’s front, side, and rear views had the highest average rating among 13 sedans tested.

But beauty must me more than skin deep.  Want to go beneath the surface and learn more about these cars?  Find out how midsize sedan models rate in any of these areas. You’ll get something you cannot find anywhere else:  the compiled ratings of over a hundred midsize sedan owners who compared all the major models, hands-on.  Then, simply click on the rating symbols to get the photos and explanations behind the ratings.